OKOTOKS, AB (August 31, 2013) — The Fort McMurray Oil Barons will finish the 2013 pre-season with a 2-4 record, after dropping a close 3-2 decision to the Camrose Kodiaks to close out their three-game showcase in Okotoks on Saturday evening.
It was an inauspicious start for the MOB, in an evenly matched game with 12 veteran players dressed on either side.
First, an offensive zone penalty taken by the Barons 30 seconds into the game resulted in a Brett Njaa power-play goal just under two minutes in.
That was quickly followed by a Luc Vandale wraparound goal at the 3:10 mark, beating Tanner Jaillet for a 2-0 Camrose lead.
The MOB was denied multiple quality chances to get on the scoresheet late in the opening frame, when both Zach Wittenburg and Ryan Bloom were denied by Devin McDonald on partial breakaways.
In the middle stanza, the Kodiaks tallied the eventual game-winning goal when Tanner MacMaster's shot was nearly saved by Jaillet, but ended up deflecting in for a 3-0 lead.
Despite a multitude of power play opportunities in that second period, including a full minute of 5-on-3, the Barons remained shut out through 40 minutes, despite leading in shots 26-19.
The third period belonged to Fort McMurray, and just under halfway through the frame, a rebound opportunity for Adam Durkee finally found the back of the Camrose net for a 3-1 score.
Then, with just 3:38 left in the game, Ryan Bloom deflected a centering pass in to give the MOB a fighting chance with just a one-goal deficit.
But despite several scrambles in front of the Camrose net late with Jaillet pulled, the Kodiaks held on for the narrow win despite being outshot 44-28.
The Barons will now finalize their roster in preparation for the home opener at the Casman Centre on Friday night, when the MOB takes on the Spruce Grove Saints at 8:00pm.